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Chapter 12

Syphilis -Ch.12.docx

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Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Prashanthan Oct/18/2012 Syphilis Ch.12  Tuskegee Study (1930s) o Many black men were told they had bad blood (not syphilis) and were denied syphilis treatment (they didn’t know they had it) o Was designed to document natural history of syphilis, but became symbol of racism in medicine, ethical misconduct, and abuse of poor and uneducated A Look Back  1493- brought to Naples by Spanish troops o Troops obtained it from Neapolitan women  Fevers, open sores, scars, pains in joints  Columbian Theory o Christopher Columbus arrived in Spain with natives of West Indies, of Americas (who had syphilis), some of whom became Spanish troops  George Sommariva believed in mercury for treatment of syphilis o Came to be called Salivation  Another treatment was guaiacum (holy wood) resin from trees, but was actually a useless remedy  Some skeletons (dated to be 70 yrs before Columbus’ voyage) have syphilitic bone lesions, suggesting that syphilis impacted Europe BEFORE Columbus even went to Americas Spirochete Discovered  Used to be believed as God’s punishment for human sexual excesses  Girolamo Fracastoro recognized that it was contagious o Resulted from invisible “seeds of contagion”  1905 - Fritz Schaudinn and Erich Hoffmann identified spiral-shaped bacteria o Treponema pallidum  Took so long to identify cause of syphilis because syphilis was associated with gonorrhea The Disease Syphilis  In past, diseases such as syphilis called venereal disease (VD) because they were transmitted thru sexual contact o Now are called STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)  Sometimes called “The Great Imitator” because it resembles symptoms of other diseases  Chancre stage-Earliest stage in syphilis o Chancre forms ~21 days after infection 1 Prashanthan Oct/18/2012  Secondary/Disseminated Stage usually 2-12 weeks after chancre stage o T. pallidum mainly present in blood o Skin rash forms (might be mistaken for measles/smallpox)  Tertiary Stage o No longer infectious o Chronic disease o Destructive ulcers (gummas) appear in skin, muscles, liver, lungs, eyes o Aorta inflames o Spinal cord/brain affected leads to paralysis/insanity “Catching Syphilis”  Primary Stage o Spread by kissing/touching a person with active lesions on lips/genitalia/breasts  Secondary Stage o Skin le
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